Potential Nissan Qashqai buyers might want to consider the competition before they sign on the dotted line.
The Suzuki S-Cross is a well-matched alternative to the Qashqai that’s significantly cheaper than the more popular Nissan. The S-Cross has also just had mid-life update which appears to have delivered significant improvements.
The most obvious changes are on the outside. The S-Cross has had a major facelift and boasts updated front-end styling with new-design headlamps and LED rear light clusters. But it’s under the bonnet and in the cabin where the most valuable improvements have been made.
Petrol models are now powered by one of Suzuki’s modern turbocharged small-capacity Boosterjet engines. There’s a choice of 1.0-litre or 1.4-litre.
The 1.0l replaces the old 1.6l petrol engine and has a power output of 111PS with 170Nm of turque between 2,000rpm and 3,500rpm. That’s 9% more torque than the outgoing model. The 1.0l Boosterjet also offers a 10% reduction in combined cycle fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions of just 113g/km.
These are worthwhile gains. I’d expect them to tempt more buyers away from the 1.6-litre DDiS diesel engine option, despite the temptation of claimed 68.8mpg fuel consumption. Remember, diesels cost more to buy. While diesel remains the best choice for high mileage drivers or those who do a lot of towing, for the vast majority of buyers, petrol is likely to be a more suitable choice.
What else is new?
The cabin has been updated with more widespread use of soft-touch plastic, plus updated dash trim and seat fabric options.
The base specification SZ4 model comes with seven airbags, ESP, Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, air conditioning, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, heated door mirrors, black protective skid plates and black wheel arch extensions.
The SZ-T, which Suzuki says is aimed at fleet buyers, adds LED Projector Headlamps, satellite navigation, polished 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking camera, front and rear parking proximity sensors, Dual Zone automatic air conditioning, front fog lamps, rear privacy glass, silver roof rails and silver rear skid plates.
The top-of-the-range SZ5 model includes all of the above plus Radar Brake Support (autonomous emergency braking), leather, heated front seats and a double sliding panoramic sunroof.
All models come with 2WD as standard and 4WD as an optional extra.
Suzuki’s ALLGRIP automatic 4WD system directs power to the rear wheels when needed, but is designed to minimise the impact on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions — both of which are normally higher with 4WD.